Moral inconsistency leads to legal inconsistency, and legal inconsistency is another word for injustice. Imagine a basic right that you championed and exercised, but which, if I were to attempt it, would lead to my prosecution and imprisonment. Sound fair and reasonable?
Consider the case of a Wisconsin man was sentenced to 22 years in prison for, according to the report, “attempted first-degree intentional homicide of an unborn child.” The man was the father of the unborn child and, fearing that the baby would suffer a similar long-term medical condition to his or her older sibling, he slipped an abortion-inducing drug into his girlfriend’s smoothie, which she did not drink.
Let’s see – choosing to abort for fear of a child’s future low quality of life due to a medical condition. Now where have I heard this logic before?
And yet everyone involved in this case condemned the act. The accused was remorseful, saying he had no excuse for doing what he did. His attorney said, “He knows that what he did was wrong.” The district attorney called it “completely unacceptable at all levels.” The judge said, “I think a steep price has to be paid for someone who engages in this type of behavior.”
It was a moral consensus. This parent’s attempt to abort on the grounds provided was wrong according to everyone related to the case. Thus he will rightly be punished according to the law.
But the reader is way ahead of me. You already know the problem: plenty of parents (specifically mothers) assume the moral and legal right to do this very thing. It happens all the time, every day. And far from receiving the kind of moral reproach or legal penalties in the Wisconsin case, these mothers are widely affirmed for exercising what is deemed an important freedom.
The Wisconsin man is not an isolated case. He is far from the first to face murder charges for killing a prenatal baby. There exist “fetal homicide” laws on the books in 38 states. How do we reconcile these laws (and the moral prescriptions they reflect) with the celebrated right of mothers to choose the very thing these laws forbid?
It is not as simple as a difference between men and women. Tennessee charged a woman with attempted murder for trying to perform a “self abortion” in her home. An Indiana mother got 20 years for “feticide.” The law’s position on unborn human beings appears unambiguous in these cases.
Nearly all Christians reading about this will resonate with the moral gravity of these laws and the reasoning of those who prosecute people for fetal homicide. It is rooted in basic pro-life logic. But what about the millions of Americans who align with the powerful and influential pro-abortion movement? Does their reasoning account for the moral gravity reflected in these legal rulings?
Not even close. Their reasoning is completely opposite regarding the killing of prenatal human beings. Abortion is not even characterized by them as a “necessary evil” to resort to in rare and regrettable cases. For many advocates and politicians, abortion is celebrated. They categorize it as a basic human right. They’ll fight with everything they have to defend and maintain it. Their position is abortion on demand for any reason, preferably at the state’s expense.
Some advocates take great pride in the exercising of this right. Planned Parenthood hosts celebratory rallies and conferences with workshops on topics like “Abortion Storytelling.” There’s the “Shout Your Abortion” movement, endorsed by prestigious celebrities like Oprah Winfrey. At one event an actress told the crowd, “I had my first abortion at the Seattle Planned Parenthood. Yay! Notice I said ‘first’ … I don’t want you guys to feel insecure, it was my best one. Heads and tails above the rest. If I could Yelp review it, I totally would.”
Again, how do we reconcile these two things? One the one hand is a homicide conviction for a parent who attempted to cause the death of his unborn child. On the other hand we applaud the open celebration or boasting of another parent for exercising a legal right to do that very thing repeatedly. Abortion even has its own ice cream flavor (“Rocky Roe v. Wade,” anyone)?
The ice cream was a fundraiser for NARAL, an organization that recently tweeted a link to the story of an abortion “doula” who boasted that she had assisted in 2000 abortions. NARAL’s tweet said “Abortion doulas are heroes” with a heart emoji.
The glaring contradiction between fetal homicide laws and celebratory state-funded abortion campaigns is not a sign of a morally sane society. Depravity, as a rule, tends toward the irrational. The contradiction between fetal homicide laws and celebratory state-funded abortion is an irrational and depraved attempt to deny a truth we continue to suppress.
Clint Roberts has taught Philosophy, Religion, Ethics, Critical Thinking, Apologetics, and a few less interesting subjects over the last decade plus. He long ago attended a fine theological institution. Later his doctorate focused on famous arguments by Clive Staples Lewis. He and Wanda lived in Texas, Idaho, & Utah before coming to Oklahoma. They have six kids & several species of animal. You can find him ascending weekly unto the Free Methodist pulpit on Sundays & continuing to teach at local universities.